From The Bard's Pen

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet,
to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me—
nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.

- Hamlet

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I guess it’s high time I wrote something about the bard too. Just checked online and saw that my research proposal has been selected! I had promised myself that I would write something on Shakespeare if I did manage to get into Ph.D. Phew! Here it goes...

My Favourites in Shakespeare:

Favourite Play: King Lear- Well the reason for this being my favourite is kind of weird. This is the only play where the Bard has managed to affect my tear ducts. (Believe me.. that is TOUGH job!!)

Favourite Sonnet:

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

Favorite Shakespearean Hero: Not that I’m a feminist, but choosing a favorite here seems like a task! Hmm.. It should be Prince Hal (Henry V) of the plays Henry IV I & II. No tragic heroes for me.

Favorite Shakespearean Heroine: The Serpent of the Nile- Cleopatra

Favorite movie on/about Shakespeare: Shakespeare in Love

Favorite adaptation of Shakespeare: Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing (It has Keanu Reeves as Don John!!)

Favorite lines from Shakespeare: ‘Et tu, Brute!” – Julius Caesar

Favorite critic(s) on Shakespeare: Bruce Smith, Valerie Traub and Carol McNeely

Favorite Bit of Trivia on Shakespeare: The average American's vocabulary is around 10,000 words - 15,000 if you are REALLY smart. Shakespeare had a vocabulary of over 29,000 words.

Favorite Shakespearean Insult: “I'll beat thee, but I should infect my hands!”

Favorite Shakespeare Biographer: Bill Bryson

A book on the bard I want to read: A Hunkier Shakespeare

Favorite Shakespearean Quotations

* Hamlet, III: 1

To be, or not to be: that is the question.

* Romeo and Juliet, II:2

Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow.

* Twelfth Night, II:5

Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.

* Merchant of Venice, III:1

If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

* Hamlet, I:5

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

* Macbeth, I:3

If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then to me.

* Two Gentlemen of Verona, I:2
They do not love that do not show their love.

* The Merchant of Venice, I:3
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. An evil soul producing holy witness Is like a villain with a smiling cheek, A goodly apple rotten at the heart. O what a goodly outside falsehood hath!

* King Lear, III:6
He's mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse's health, a boy's love, or a whore's oath.

And I would like to end this post by quoting Shakespeare’s epitaph:

Good frend for jesus sake forbeare to
digg the dust encloased heare.
Blest be ye man yt spares thes stones and
curst be he yt moves my bones